Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha enhances the secretome to rejuvenate adult cardiosphere-derived cells

Progyaparamita Saha, Min Jung Kim, Antariksh Tulshyan, Yin Guo, Rachana Mishra, Deqiang Li, Curt I. Civin, Sunjay Kaushal, Sudhish Sharma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: After cardiac injury, endogenous repair mechanisms are ineffective. However, cell-based therapies provide a promising clinical intervention based on their ability to restore and remodel injured myocardium due to their paracrine factors. Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that adult cardiosphere-derived cell therapy is safe for the treatment of ischemic heart failure, although with limited regenerative potential. The limited efficiency of cardiosphere-derived cells after myocardial infarction is due to the inferior quality of their secretome. This study sought to augment the therapeutic potential of cardiosphere-derived cells by modulating hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, a regulator of paracrine factors. Methods: Cardiosphere-derived cells were isolated and expanded from the right atrial appendage biopsies of patients undergoing cardiac surgery. To study the effect of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α on the secretome, cardiosphere-derived cells were transduced with hypoxia-inducible factor-1α–overexpressing lentivirus, and various cardioprotective factors within the secretome were quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Comparative analysis of the regenerative potential of cardiosphere-derived cells was performed in a rat myocardial infarction model. Results: Mechanistically, overexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in adult cardiosphere-derived cells led to the enrichment of the secretome with vascular endothelial growth factor A, angiopoietin 1, stromal cell–derived factor 1α, and basic fibroblast growth factor. Intramyocardial administration of cardiosphere-derived cells transduced with hypoxia-inducible factor-1α after myocardial infarction significantly improved left ventricular ejection fraction, fractional shortening, left ventricular end-systolic volume, and cardiac output. Functional improvement of the rat heart correlated with improved adaptive remodeling of the infarcted myocardium by enhanced angiogenesis and decreased myocardial fibrosis. We also showed that hypoxia-inducible factor-1α expression in cardiosphere-derived cells was adversely affected by aging. Conclusions: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α improves the functional potency of cardiosphere-derived cells to preserve myocardial function after myocardial infarction by enriching the cardiosphere-derived cells' secretome with cardioprotective factors. This strategy may be useful for improving the efficacy of allogeneic cell-based therapies in future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e56-e65
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • HIF-1α
  • cardiosphere-derived cells
  • cell-based therapies
  • myocardial infarction
  • secretome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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